Sometimes I wonder how sane people regularly talk themselves into jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. The act of skydiving is one of the more confusing activities that we take part in as a species. We know the fall from that height will kill us, and we jump anyway. Why: the rush. There's something about human beings coming face-to-face with death that really seems to excite us, it's stimulating, some even find it sexually arousing..
Everything got started as these things often do. My buddies and I were sitting around, drinking beer, and all of the sudden the crazy friend that hardly ever speaks, goes: "I bet you wouldn't jump out of a plane, pussy,” to the alpha of the group, and pretty soon my friend Danny and I are going skydiving; happens in America everyday.
That weekend, Danny and I drove out to Big AL's Skydiving. Big AL had arranged to ferry Danny and myself to 10,000 feet, perform a tandem jump with the instructor, and after a 30-second free-fall, parachute gently back to earth. After a couple hours worth of safety videos on skydiving, Big AL said: "ok, we've covered everything, you two fellas wait here and I'll introduce you to your jump instructors for today."
The door swung open, and Big AL came back into the room, flanked on either side by what appeared to two physical trainers: one, a beautiful woman, and I mean gorgeous, fashion model good looks, with the upper body strength to skydive tandem with a full-grown man twice her size. The other instructor looked like an ex-linebacker for the Chicago Bears: 6’3”, 275lbs, jacked, and hairy-as-hell all over.
Right away Big AL goes: "ok, Scott and Danny, I'd like you to meet your jump instructors today. This is Diana."
"Nice to meet you Diana," Danny and I both say, in awe of the beautiful woman standing before us.
"And this is Laser," Big AL said, addressing the mountain to his left. "They've both been jump instructors here at Big AL's for five years or so."
"Laser?" my friend Danny said, being a smart ass. "Your parents must've been big American Gladiator fans."
"Actually, my parents were killed in a skydiving accident when I was six," Laser plainly stated.
Not a sound followed. You could've heard a pin drop in the deadly silence that was only probably about nine seconds, but felt like an eternity.
"OK, ready to board the plane guys!” Big AL thundered excitedly.
"Sure"...Danny and I both quietly said, exchanging a glance of fear between us.
At this point I first remember thinking…gimme Diana. For the love of all that is good in the world, anything but that great-big-hairy Laser with the death of his parents fresh on his mind, thanks to goddamn Danny..
"OK guys, Danny, you go with Diana. Scott, you're with Laser," Big AL said, as Danny failed miserably to contain himself, blurting out in uproarious laughter at my usual luck of the draw.
So we board the plane, and we get up, way up and away, up around 11,000 feet. At that point the instructors, Diana and the brawny Laser, donned tandem jumpsuits that we would eventually wear for the jump. After Diana and Laser were suited up, Danny and I joined them. Picture a two-person body glove, you know, intimate contact..As I entered the tandem jumpsuit I caught a whiff of Laser's aftershave and just to break the ice, you know, man-to-man, complimented him on it. In hindsight, apart from the skydiving in general, probably the single greatest mistake I made that day.
"Hey man, that smells nice," I said.
"Thanks kid," Laser gruffly replied, despite the fact that I was a fully grown adult 30-year-old man.
Danny and Diana walked to the side of the plane and swung open the hatch, with Laser and I following close behind. We were all now preparing to jump. I looked at Danny, strapped to Diana..Lucky Bastard, I thought to myself. This was all Danny's idea, and who ended up butt-to-front with Laser. Goddamnit..
"Ready to do this?" Laser asked.
"Oh hell yea, never better," I replied.
Danny and Diana stepped through the door of the plane and began their descent, followed after a half-a-minute or so by Laser and I. After a scary-as-shit-free-fall that was a hell of a rush for about 20 seconds, harnessed securely to the front of Laser, I feel the unmistakable sensation that can only be Laser getting an erection. Now what? I thought to myself, losing total recollection of the skydiving: I’m strapped to the guy in a tandem jumpsuit, we're skydiving, he's aroused, and I want the fuck off this ride right now. All of the sudden I remembered my training videos and the eternal words of Big AL, that emasculating sonofabitch: "no matter what happens up there, don't panic,”..yea, don't panic..Laser the grieving deathwish with his half-chub strapped to my back as we rocket towards earth at 120 miles per hour, but hey, I won’t panic.
Finally, the chutes open. And we start slowly drifting back to earth. I looked down at Diana and Danny, who were now about 100 feet or so beneath Laser and I. They were laughing and congratulating each other in elation at the experience they had just shared; pointing out familiar sights to each other on the ground. It really seemed like they were able to form a deep attraction with one another over the course of the jump.
"How was it?" Laser asked from behind me.
"Fuckin' great, man. Just about the best idea I've ever fucking had," I replied, finished with the entire ordeal and ready for shower.
We get safely to the ground and Danny is all smiles. He starts asking me right away: "man! Wasn't that fun! Did you have a blast man? Fuck that was so awesome."
"Yea, great, that was a really good time, bruh."
"Were you scared?" Danny asked.
"Briefly, mostly I was confused," I said, not mentioning Laser, or specifically his boner.
A few days later, that same group of friends was sitting around drinking beer again, and the same friend that talked both Danny and I into the bullshit, goes: "so was it a blast or what?" Right away Danny started to gush about Diana; how he's got a date with her on Saturday, how pretty she is, they have so much in common, blah, blah, blah..and then somebody goes: "Scott, who'd you jump with?”..I had no idea what to say. Do I tell them that the free-fall and all sense of fear of skydiving was mostly distracted by Laser's rod in the small of my back? What could I even say..So I did what any straight guy would do in that situation: I didn't goddamn mention it.
That night, two more of our friends decided to do the very same thing, and go skydiving. Both were headed out to Big AL's to charter a plane and get their own jump. That night before they left the bar, one of them asked me: "any tips for me tomorrow, Scott?"
"Yea," I answered. "Two things: ask for Laser, and don't panic."
Ken Burgess from Florida on April 26, 2020:
Great read, I'm sure your bud really appreciated that advice ;)